Thanks to their 4-2 victory today at PNC Park over the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Boston Red Sox put a halt to their four-game losing streak.
After losing their first game of June, the Red Sox won 14 of their next 16 before dropping four straight. During that hot streak, Boston scored eight or more runs nine times, including hitting double-digits in runs scored six times.
After an abysmal 2-10 start to the season, many counted the Red Sox out, insinuating that their big off-season signings were a bust, particularly Carl Crawford, who just could not seem to find any luck at the plate in the month of April.
But why do so many skeptics forget about what makes the baseball season both unique and sometimes tiresome? It's the length: 162 regular-season games that span from early April (sometimes even late March) to the end of September and even early October. Why do most people forgot on an annual basis that the complexity of one team's season can change over the span of three weeks? This is what is happening to the Boston Red Sox. While most were quick to cast the Red Sox off when they were stumbling in April, I wasn't pressing any panic buttons. I wasn't stamping my ticket to Fenway Park in October but I certainly wasn't pressing any panic buttons.
It can be said that there's simply no excuse for the Red Sox to lose two straight to the San Diego Padres, then their next two to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Maybe there's not but have you ever seen a baseball go 162-0? The Seattle Mariners once accomplished a feat by winning 116 games in a single season and no team has eclipsed or even matched that mark yet.
Essentially, as great or as 'unstoppable' as any team appears to be, no team is above human. The Padres may not be a great time right now but they certainly are a young team are going to pile together some wins amidst their many losses, even against the best of the teams.
As for the Pirates, they may not be ready to contend for a division title just yet, you can't exactly call them the bottom-feeders we were so used to labeling them lo the last decade-plus. The Pirates have turned a corner and, unfortunately for the Red Sox, they witnessed that first-hand this weekend - twice.
As great as the New York Yankees are playing, don't count out the Tampa Bay Rays or even the Toronto Blue Jays in that all-too-competitive AL East. Boston is still in good position but, like it or not, they are going to have to keep playing at a high-level to compete in their division, a battle that should go right until the final weekend of the season.